Today we’d like to introduce you to Joseph Rahme.
Joseph, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I come from a tennis playing family. My mother was the original tennis player, and she then taught my dad and all of her seven children to play. Most weekends were spent at the tennis club in Johannesburg, South Africa. When I was about 10 years old, my parents started paying for private tennis lessons for me, with the coach at the club.
At 13 years old, I was nationally ranked in South Africa juniors and was selected to represent my region (Southern Transvaal) for children my age. At the age of 16, I was ranked #13 in South Africa in boy’s under 16 singles and #1 in doubles.
I wanted to pursue a tennis career, so I wrote to some of the top NCAA Tennis Universities here in the US, seeking a tennis scholarship. If I went to University in South Africa, my tennis would have taken a major backseat to my studies, as we did not have a collegiate sports system, like here in the US. I got offered a few tennis scholarships in the US and decided to attend the University of Nebraska – Lincoln in 1989. The transition to a new country, climate and bigger, stronger, more mature college tennis players was major, coming from junior tennis in South Africa. But, I worked really hard at Nebraska with both my studies and tennis. In my sophomore year, I was the Big 8 Conference Singles Champion at the #6 singles position. In my junior year, 1991-92, I played the #1 singles and doubles positions, competing with and beating some of the best college players in the nation.
In the summer of 1992, I turned pro and achieved an ATP singles and doubles ranking, which I held right up until I quit playing full time on the international tennis circuit in 1999. I completed my studies by correspondence and have a degree in Business Administration.
I became PTR certified and began teaching tennis in Atlanta in 1999. I am an independent pro and teach all ages, levels and abilities. I was awarded the Georgia Professional Tennis Association’s Independent Pro of the Year in 2009 and again in 2014.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has been a bumpy road to say the least!
First, was all the travelling, obtaining visas and flights back and forth to the US, when I was in college and playing professionally. Living out of a bag, missing friends and family and struggling to keep relationships while travelling nonstop abroad.
Then, I had a major setback while on the pro tennis circuit, in 1994. I was unlucky enough to be involved in a car accident in London and just as a passenger! I tore my right calf muscle and needed plastic surgery to my forehead. I was not able to play tennis for about 6 months.
The other huge obstacle that I had to overcome was obtaining my green card. I was able to get it through a working visa at a tennis academy, here in Atlanta. It was a long and arduous process and should have taken 3 years to obtain. But, I was left off their financials one year and had to take a 4th year to get it. I’m now a US Citizen and was allowed to keep my South African Citizenship, too. So, with dual citizenship, I have the best of both worlds.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Joseph Rahme Tennis Services – what should we know?
I teach tennis independently, to both individuals and groups, all levels, ages and abilities. I have taught players from the complete beginner level, as well as right up to world-ranked tennis players.
I also string tennis racquets on the side, which is a vital part of the game. Which strings you use, what tension and what string pattern you have in your racquet, definitely affects how it plays!
- One hour tennis lesson rate: $70
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/josepherahme
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/joseph.rahme1
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/josephrahme
- Other: www.linkedin.com/in/josephrahme